An Inclusive Litany

9/25/01

Kevin Lourie, anthropology professor at Brown University Medical School, in an op-ed distributed by the Brown University Press Service, September 25, 2001:
It will take a year to remove the rubble, but the smoke will never entirely clear, no matter how boldly we face the challenges of domestic vulnerability or how great our resolve. In theory, this war can end only to the extent that we relinquish our role as world leader, overhaul our lifestyle and achieve political neutrality....

Perhaps our best options now are to search for the origins of this new war, draw strength from understanding our own weaknesses, and make changes within ourselves and within our relationships to others. Many wonder if we are paying an accumulated debt for centuries of dominance and intervention far from home, retribution for our culture of consumption and exploitation. Let's start by revising the physics of political power in the world, in which even the most magnificent of nations can be paralyzed by one misguided renegade act, in which no one power is superior to others....

So what do we tell our children? To accept that in the aftermath we have not simply joined the rest of the world in their experience of fear and exposure to terror, but, rather, that there has been a qualitative change in our consciousness to become more accountable. We must come to terms with the reality that we cannot utterly control the powers of all peoples, re-examine our place in the world, and begin to imagine a world without superpowers.

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